To his credit, Spenser Reeb admits he didn’t know much about Lonnie Porter while he was playing basketball at Broomfield.
He was merely hoping to get a chance to continue his playing career at the next level and in the process garner an education that would shape the person he would become later in life.
Little did he know, the two years he will get with the longtime Regis University coach may be more beneficial to molding him than any piece of paper ever will.
“To play for a guy that has that much influence on the game and is such an overall good guy too,” said Reeb, now a sophomore that is averaging seven points and 2.9 rebounds per game off the bench for the Rangers. “It was a major selling point to play for a guy who has that much influence on the game.”
Reeb and his teammates are along for the ride with Porter, who will retire from coaching at the end of the season after 38 years at the helm and over 530 victories.
“It’s been a good opportunity to play under him,” Reeb said. “A real good experience.”
A former Porter assistant Eric Daniels, now with the Orlando Magic, was the person who helped get Reeb to Regis. He scouted Reeb during the Eagles’ 2012 run that ended with a loss in the state title game.
“He really liked him,” Porter recalls of Daniels’ assessments. “And was really impressed with him.”
Reeb came right in during his freshman season and contributed to the Rangers program. As a freshman, he played in 25 games (starting five) and scored a career-high 24 points in a wild 119-105 loss to Colorado Christian.
Through 15 games of his sophomore season, one in which the Rangers are struggling at 4-11, Reeb has got a few spot starts and had an impressive season-high 19 points on Jan. 10 at Colorado Christian.
“He is an important part of the team because we don’t really have a lot of guys who can shoot the basketball,” said Porter, who is Colorado’s all-time winning college basketball coach. “He shoots it pretty dog-gone good, but I think his best basketball, especially as he continues to grow and mature, is ahead of him and by the time it is all said and done is going to be something special.”
Porter, who partners with another Colorado basketball legend in Chauncey Billups to form the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy, has been a firm believer in recruiting Colorado and keeping the state’s top talent close to home.
Along with Reeb, Porter currently has two Coloradoans on his roster, including Fort Collins’ Will Duggan.
“Naturally you always try to recruit in-state kids because for one it makes the fan base a little bit larger,” Porter said. “But is is hard to get them sometimes because Colorado is really recruited pretty heavy.
“The academic standards are really high here and we have a number of Division I and Division II teams in the state now, so the competition to get these kids is pretty high.”
As for Reeb, who missed last Friday’s game while battling a sinus infection, he has enjoyed the luxury of traveling and seeing parts of the country that playing college basketball has provided for him.
After opening the season in Alaska last season, Reeb and the Rangers started the season with a trip to Hawai’i in 2014 and got to play Chaminade and Hawai’i Pacific. Among the other highlights for Reeb was his first few games of his freshman season, exhibition losses to local Division I programs Colorado State and Air Force — Regis lost to the Rams by a just single point.
Reeb has learned to balance a strenuous classroom load as well as his time on the court and hopes to parlay his business degree into a successful career.
“This being a more difficult school, it really forces you to develop time management skills and get the grades you need to be able to play basketball,” said Reeb, who is learning toward the marketing aspect of business. “I like to do something with sports or something in that area.”
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